List of UK parliamentary election petitions

An election petition is a petition challenging the result of an election to a United Kingdom Parliament constituency. The Parliamentary Elections Act 1868 transferred the jurisdiction for considering petitions from the House of Commons to the High Court of Justice. The following table lists all those petitions which subsequently came to trial.

Glossary (by columns)Edit

  • Election: The year of a general election, or the full date of a by-election.
  • Constituency: The parliamentary constituency concerned.
  • Petitioner: The person or people bringing the petition and challenging the election.
  • Respondent: The defendant in the case. The elected MP was always a respondent; if procedural irregularity was alleged, the Returning Officer could be added.
  • 'Bribery, etc.' : It was routine for election petitions in the 19th century brought on grounds of bribery also to make accusations of treating and undue influence. Some petitions were apparently written using boilerplate text.
  • Personation: One person knowingly voting in the name of another.
  • Scrutiny of votes: A process where the votes were recounted, the eligibility of each voter was checked, and ineligible votes struck off.
  • Treating: The act of giving free food and drink with intent to persuade the recipient to vote for a particular candidate.
  • Undue influence: Any attempt to win votes by threats.
  • Duly elected: The court upheld the election, and declared the sitting Member the rightful winner. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured green in the table.
  • Undue election: The court found that the person who was elected had not won the election, but that another candidate had the majority of lawful votes, and therefore declared the other candidate elected. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured red in the table.
  • Void election: The court found that the election had not been conducted fairly, and annulled the result. This meant that the seat was vacant and another election had to be held to fill it. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured purple in the table.
  • Withdrawn: The judges allowed the petitioner to withdraw the case, and the election result stood. As petitioners might be induced to withdraw a petition by a further act of corruption, the judges had to give permission on the basis that they were satisfied no corrupt consideration was involved. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured yellow in the table.
  • Agent: Anyone acting directly or indirectly on behalf of the candidates; not merely the election agent but anyone employed by them. Many cases turned on whether a person proved to have carried out illegal activity was an agent (voiding the election) or was acting independently.
  • Recriminatory case: Where a petition was presented by a defeated candidate claiming to have been the rightful winner (and not that the election be declared void), it was open to the Respondent to bring forward accusations against their election campaign.
  • Relief: If certain aspects of election law have been broken through inadvertence, it is possible for those involved to be relieved from the consequences of breaking the law. The effect of relief is as if the breach of the law never occurred.
  • Special case: Where the dispute in an election petition concerned the law and not the facts, it was referred to three Judges of the High Court (England and Wales), the Court of Session (Scotland) or the High Court of Northern Ireland.

Election Petitions tried from 1868 to 1883Edit

Election Constituency Petitioner(s) Respondent(s) Allegation Result Reason References
1868 Belfast James M'Tier and Charles Murray Arundell Thomas McClure Bribery, etc. Duly elected The Judge did not believe voters who claimed to have been bribed. McClure's campaign had given £200 to support William Johnston's campaign for the other seat, which appeared to be corrupt spending intended to help McClure, but did not fall within the legal definition of bribery. 1 O'M & H 281; Fitzgerald p. 19-27; HCP 1869 120-I p. 214-217
1868 Beverley Luke Hind, John Armstrong and Joseph Dannatt Sir Henry Edwards and Edmund Hegan Kennard Bribery, etc. Void election At least 800 and up to 1,000 people were bribed. 1 O'M & H 143; HCP 1869 120 p. 2-6
1868 Bewdley Charles Sturge and John Baldwin Sir Richard Atwood Glass Bribery, etc. Void election Glass's campaign paid for free drink to be provided in 19 or 20 public houses in the borough during the election, and the agent submitted an inaccurate return of election expenses to hide it. Bribery was not proved. There was no evidence that Glass expected this treating. 1 O'M & H 16; HCP 1869 120 p. 6-11
1868 Blackburn John Gerald Potter and Montague Joseph Feilden William Henry Hornby and Joseph Feilden Bribery, etc. Void election Allegations of bribery and treating were abandoned, but it was found that workmen in mills in the borough owned by supporters of Hornby and Feilden who supported their opponents, were sacked or prevented from working. Neither candidate nor their agent were responsible; no order as to costs. 1 O'M & H 198; HCP 1869 120 p. 11-25
1868 Bodmin Richard Adams, Abraham Hambly, and James Fell Hon. Edward Frederick Leveson-Gower Bribery, etc. Duly elected William Grose did give a meal in Lanivet for supporters of Leveson-Gower, but it was frugal and involved few people, so did not appear to be corrupt treating. 1 O'M & H 117; HCP 1869 120 p. 25-35
1868 Bradford (No. 1) John Haley, Charles Hastings, Angus Holden, Titus Salt Jr. Henry William Ripley Bribery, etc. Void election Ripley was found to have given his agent an unlimited bank account, which was used to keep 115 public houses open supplying drink to voters who would vote for Ripley. 1 O'M & H 30; HCP 1869 120 p. 35-39
1868 Bradford (No. 2) Samuel Storey and Thomas Garnett William Edward Forster Bribery, etc. Duly elected Evidence of bribery by cash gifts was described by the Judges as "beneath contempt", and while refreshments were provided for campaign workers, this was not corrupt as all of them had always intended to vote for Forster. 1 O'M & H 35; HCP 1869 120 p. 39-44
1868 Brecon Dr. Thomas Prestwood Lucas and Mordecai Jones Howel Gwyn Bribery, etc. Void election John New, a spy from the Lucas and Jones's party, had received a bribe from someone known to be an agent of Gwyn. 1 O'M & H 212; HCP 1869 120-I p. 219
1868 Bridgwater Henry Westropp and Charles William Grey Alexander William Kinglake and Philip Vanderbyl Bribery, etc. Void election It was established that voters had been given cash by Henry Chapman Bussell, who was clearly acting for Kinglake and Vanderbyl. 1 O'M & H 112, HCP 1869 120 p. 44-46
1868 Carrickfergus Robert Torrens Marriott Robert Dalway Bribery, etc. Duly elected Assaults on two voters were not part of deliberate intimidation. Food and drink did not appear to be given corruptly. No order as to costs. 1 O'M & H 264; HCP 1869 120-I p. 219-227
1868 Cashel Henry Munster James Lyster O'Beirne Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Void election O'Beirne was found to have bribed voters under the guise of paying claims from previous elections and room hire charges. A recriminatory case found that Munster had also committed bribery by his agents. 1 O'M & H 286; Fitzgerald p. 28-48; HCP 1869 120-I p. 228-235
1868 Cheltenham James Tynte Agg-Gardner Henry Bernhard Samuelson Bribery, etc. Duly elected A prize-fighter had been employed on behalf of Samuelson to intimidate voters, but there was no general riot. Some voters had had their rates paid to qualify them as electors, but it was not proved that Samuelson was responsible. 1 O'M & H 62; HCP 1869 120 p. 46-52
1868 Coventry Thomas Berry Bishop and 31 others Henry William Eaton and Alexander Staveley Hill Bribery, etc. Duly elected Eaton's agreement to pay Hill's election expenses was not illegal. Any food and drink was supplied with a total absence of corrupt design. The weight of evidence was against bribery having occurred. No order as to costs. 1 O'M & H 97; HCP 1869 120 p. 53-69
1868 Dover John Helliott Major Alexander George Dickson Bribery, etc. Withdrawn Witnesses expected to prove the charges were unbelievable and the Petitioner successfully applied to withdraw the case. 1 O'M & H 210; HCP 1869 120 p. 69
1868 Drogheda Sir Francis Leopold M'Clintock Benjamin Whitworth Undue influence Void election Whitworth was found to have organised a system of intimidation through the Roman Catholic clergy of the borough. 1 O'M & H 252; HCP 1869 120-I p. 320-332
1868 Dublin City (No. 1) Thomas Woodlock and George Foley Sir Arthur Edward Guinness, Bt. Bribery, etc. Void election Bribery of 30-40 freemen was proved. 41 voters living outside Dublin were also bribed by promises of payment of their travelling expenses. 1 O'M & H 270; HCP 1869 120 p. 69-90
1868 Galway Borough Thomas M'Govern Lord St Lawrence and Sir Rowland Blennerhasset, Bt. Bribery, etc. Duly elected Payments to voters had been reckless but had been voters taking advantage of the candidates rather than bribes. The Roman Catholic clergy had the right to address their congregations on the merits of the candidates. No order as to costs. 1 O'M & H 303; HCP 1869 120 p. 332-351
1868 Greenock William Dougal Christie James Johnston Grieve Bribery, etc.; illegal arrangements for polling Duly elected The Sheriff as Returning Officer had taken the advice of the town clerk and polling places were not in accordance with the law, but it did not affect the result. The Judge found the claims of bribed voters to be of no consequence. 1 O'M & H 247; HCP 1869 120 p. 91-99
1868 Guildford William Edward Elkins and others Guildford Hillier Mainwaring Ellerker Onslow Bribery, etc. Duly elected Two non-resident voters had had their travel expenses paid but it was not proved that the person sending the money was an agent. Drink was supplied by debating societies, not the candidate. No bribery was shown. No order as to costs. 1 O'M 13; HCP 1869 120 p. 99-106
1868 Hastings (No. 1) Edward Barker Sutton and Robert Ransom Frederick North Bribery, etc. Duly elected Brassey's lavish spending on his household was not illegal even if it intended to influence the election; to be illegal it must aim at a particular vote. An association set up by North and Brassey's party to encourage registration of their voters paid the voters for time off to register and gave them refreshments, but this was not bribery or treating when they came to vote many months later. 1 O'M & H 217; HCP 1869 120-I p. 235-242
1868 Hastings (No. 2) Hon. Colonel Calthorpe and Clement Arthur Thruston Thomas Brassey Bribery, etc. Duly elected
1868 Hereford Francis Henry Thomas, Josiah Webbe Goldsworthy, and John Cleave George Clive and John William Shaw Wyllie Bribery, etc. Void election A breakfast was given by one Harrison for anyone who wanted to have a drink; it was established that he was an agent for Clive and Wyllie, although they were unaware of it. 1 O'M & H 194; HCP 1869 120 p. 106-113
1868 Horsham Robert Henry Hurst John Aldridge Scrutiny of votes Undue election The candidates polled the same number of votes and had both been returned. The respondent Aldridge did not defend his claim on the seat. HCP 1869 120-I p. 399.
1868 King's Lynn William Armes and George Holditch Hon. Robert Bourke Bribery, etc. Duly elected Only one allegation of a bribed voter would require an answer; there the evidence was contradicted. 1 O'M & H 206; HCP 1869 120 p. 113-115
1868 Lichfield Major Hon. Augustus Henry Archibald Anson Colonel Richard Dyott Bribery, etc. Duly elected Individual accusations of bribery were made, which did not show organised corruption. The individual cases were unbelievable. One landlord did supply free food in order to create good will for his pub, but not at the instigation of the candidate. 1 O'M & H 22; HCP 1869 120 p. 115-123
1868 Limerick City Daniel Ryan, Thomas M'Knight, Mathew Brennan, Robert Stacpool, Thomas M'Namara, and Denis Grimes Major George Gavin and Francis William Russell Bribery, etc. Duly elected No proof of bribery could be found; evidence of refreshments did not show they were given to influence votes. The respondents had summoned a mob, paid by being given £300-£400 of beer, to defend them from what they reasonably suspected to be an attempt to attack them. No order as to costs. 1 O'M & H 260; Fitzgerald p. 2-18; HCP 1869 120-I p. 243-248
1868 Londonderry City David John M'Gown and George David Christie Richard Dowse Bribery, etc. Duly elected People employed in the election had been paid wages but had all promised votes to Dowse long before. No evidence was offered to support allegations of intimidation. 1 O'M & H 274; HCP 1869 120-I p. 249-260
1868 Manchester Frederic Royse and Charles Wright Hugh Birley Disqualification Duly elected Birley was a partner in a company which held two contracts with the Government. One of the contracts had been fully delivered by the time of the election, and although the company had not been paid, it was held to have been a completed and finished contract. Birley did not know of the other contract. Special case. HCP 1869 120-I p. 260-268
1868 Norfolk, Northern Edward Colman Hon. Frederick Walpole and Sir Edmund Henry Knowles Lacon, Bt. Bribery, etc.; employing person reported guilty of corrupt practice Duly elected A man named Preston had previously been reported guilty of corrupt practices but had only chaired public meetings and proposed Lacon as a candidate, which was not illegal. Bribery claims were not made out. A squire had given a dinner to his tenants to celebrate after the election, to increase his influence unconnected with the candidates. 1 O'M & H 236; HCP 1869 120-I p. 269-282
1868 Northallerton Jasper Wilson Johns John Hutton Bribery, etc.; scrutiny of votes Duly elected The scrutiny confirmed Hutton's victory. Hutton made no corrupt promises, the treating alleged amounted only to a suspicion about a single glass of beer and a cigar, and the intimidation amounted only to a squabble between two people. 1 O'M & H 167; HCP 1869 120-I p. 283-285
1868 Norwich Jacob Henry Tillett Sir Henry Josias Stracey, Bt. Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Void election It was proved that a man called Hardiment had bribed voters to support Stracey, and he was definitely an agent. The petitioner did not press his claim to the seat on a scrutiny. 1 O'M & H 8; HCP 1869 120 p. 123-127
1868 Oldham John Morgan Coblett, Frederick Lowton Spinks, Thomas Evan Lees and John Bentley John Tomlinson Hibbert and John Platt Scrutiny of votes Withdrawn Several votes given by wrongly registered electors were struck off; other tendered votes were held good, but after six days the petitioners accepted that Platt had a majority of one vote. 1 O'M & H 151; HCP 1869 120 p. 127-128
1868 Penryn and Falmouth Robert Richard Broad and others Robert Nicholas Fowler and Edward Backhouse Eastwick Bribery, etc. Duly elected Voters had not been employed in order to influence their votes; an attempt to prove a deaf voter had been promised a cure if he supported Fowler and Backhouse broke down in court. 1 O'M & H 127; HCP 1869 120 p. 128-137
1868 Salford Roderick Anderson; Jesse Bryant; and Edward Charlton Harding Charles Edward Cawley and William Thomas Charley Bribery, etc.; hiring cabs to convey voters to the poll Duly elected The cabs were to convey canvassers to workplaces. The respondents hired a gang of roughs after hearing rumours about Irish interference, which the Judges criticised. 2s. 6d. of bribery by an agent was proved in isolated acts, but this did not upset the election. 1 O'M & H 133; HCP 1869 120 p. 138-144
1868 Salisbury Granville Richard Ryder Edward William Terrick Hamilton Votes were cast by people wrongly registered Duly elected Small tenant farmers, whose rates were compounded and paid by their landlords, were entitled to register. Special case. HCP 1869 120-I p. 286-289
1868 Sligo Borough Michael Foley and Joseph Foley Major Lawrence Edward Knox Bribery, etc. Void election Proof of bribery of many voters, by a man named Cherry on behalf of Major Knox, was established. There was also a system of intimidation and violence was practiced by large mobs opposed to Knox. 1 O'M & H 300; HCP 1869 120 p. 144-155
1868 Southampton Alfred Pegler The Rt Hon. Russell Gurney, Q.C. and Peter Merrick Hoare Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Duly elected Some voters' sons were employed to help in the election, but this employment was not corrupt. A cabman hired for election day and paid his normal fare was not bribery. The scrutiny and a recriminatory case were abandoned. 1 O'M & H 222; HCP 1869 120-I p. 289-294
1868 Stafford (No. 1) Richard Croft Chawner Colonel Walter Meller Bribery, etc. Void election An agent of Meller had put names of voters down on a list for payments after the election, if there were funds available. Meller was not personally involved. A recriminatory case established that Chawner had appointed a corrupt agent and was therefore disqualified from election. 1 O'M & H 228; HCP 1869 120-I p. 295-302
1868 Stafford (No. 2) Joseph Wile and Thomas Smallman Henry Davis Pochin Bribery, etc. Void election Five or six men were deterred from voting by threats of violence from a mob. Pochin was not personally responsible.
1868 Stalybridge James Ogden, John Woolley and Abel Buckley James Sidebottom Bribery, etc. Duly elected The evidence of treating at two pubs was not trustworthy. There was no evidence that intimidation was instigated by the candidates. One voter was promised a day's wages to vote for Sidebottom, but by two volunteers. 1 O'M & H 66; HCP 1869 120 p. 156-162
1868 Tamworth (No. 1) John Hill and Thomas Watton Sir Robert Peel, Bt. and Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, Bt. Bribery, etc. Duly elected Claims of personal bribery by Peel were groundless, and Peel's land agent Carmichael had not bribed either. Bulwer had allowed his agent Barraclough to hire men to keep the peace on polling day, and Barraclough had hired 130 (many more than necessary), but this was done without approval. 1 O'M & H 75; HCP 1869 120 p. 163-183
1868 Taunton (No. 2) Thomas Meredith Williams and Joseph Mellor Mr. Serjeant Edward William Cox Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Undue election An association had been formed for registering voters. A long time after the registration, the association paid voters 5s. each for registering; no check was made for what anyone had done for the money. The candidates worked closely with the association. When the corrupted votes were struck off, Henry James had a majority and was duly elected. 1 O'M & H 181; HCP 1869 120 p. 352-357
1868 Wallingford Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Bt. Stanley Vickers Bribery, etc. Duly elected Seven voters living outside the town were invited to the house of Deacon, an agent of Vickers, who gave them food and drink and took them to vote in his carriage, but there was no corrupt intention. 1 O'M & H 57; HCP 1869 120 p. 184-189
1868 Warrington Miles Crozier and others Peter Rylands Irregular taking of votes at one polling booth Duly elected There had been confusion at the No. 1 polling booth in the south-east of the town, and for an hour votes were incorrectly recorded or not recorded at all. However it was the legal duty of the voters to make sure their votes were recorded properly. 1 O'M & H 42; HCP 1869 120 p. 189-191
1868 Westbury Abraham Laverton John Lewis Phipps Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Void election Joseph Harrop, a manufacturer in the town, told his employees that they would be dismissed if they voted for Laverton who was his business rival. A recriminatory case against Laverton failed but brought forward serious evidence. 1 O'M & H 47; HCP 1869 120 p. 191-197
1868 Westminster James Beal and others William Henry Smith Bribery, etc. Duly elected Smith spent an enormous amount to pay shopkeepers to display his posters, but without an intention to bribe the shopkeepers. Campaign workers were supplied with food and drink, but only ordinary meals. 1 O'M & H 89; HCP 1869 120 p. 198-202
1868 Wexford Borough John Sutton, Thomas Edward Cavanagh, John Wheelock, James Jones, Patrick Brian, and Michael Hughes Richard Joseph Devereux Returning Officer wrongly accepted withdrawal of a candidate Void election A show of hands went in favour of Standish Motte, and a poll was demanded. Motte then withdrew, and the Returning Officer subsequently declared Devereux elected; he had no authority to do so. A poll should have been held. Special case. HCP 1869 120 p. 202-203
1868 Wigan Daniel Brayshay and William Atkinson Henry Woods and John Lancaster Bribery, etc. Duly elected An employee of the political association formed in the town to support Woods and Lancaster had corruptly paid the rates of one voter, but he was not acting as their agent in this action. 1 O'M & H 188; HCP 1869 120 p. 203-207
1868 Windsor Colonel Robert Richardson Gardner Roger Eykyn Bribery, etc. Duly elected A voter who had previously promised Eykyn his vote subsequently was given £1 to help him after his two children died, but this was an isolated gift and not a bribe. Eykyn chaired the Odd Fellows Society and had paid for wine at its annual dinner, but it was a non-political occasion. 1 O'M & H 1; HCP 1869 120 p. 208-212
1868 Yorkshire (West Riding), Southern Hon. Francis Dudley Stuart Wortley and George Wilton Chambers Viscount Milton and Henry Frederick Beaumont Bribery, etc. Withdrawn A list containing voters alleged to have been bribed was delivered to the respondents too late and was inadmissible. A recriminatory case established that railway fares were paid to allow farmers in Penistone to come to Sheffield to vote, but they would have gone to market on that day in any case. The second petition was withdrawn before any evidence was offered. 1 O'M & H 213; HCP 1869 120-I p. 303-304
1868 Yorkshire (West Riding), Southern Walter Thomas William Spencer Stanhope Henry Frederick Beaumont Bribery, etc. Withdrawn
1868 Youghal John Welling Brasier Christopher Weguelin Bribery, etc. Void election From the time he proclaimed himself a candidate until the dissolution of Parliament, Weguelin had offered drink to voters to get their support. The Judge obtained a ruling by the Court of Common Pleas that this was corrupt treating even if halted at dissolution. 1 O'M & H 291; HCP 1869 120 p. 304-320
11 March 1869 Bewdley Hon. Augustus Henry Archibald Anson John Cunliffe Pickersgill Cunliffe Scrutiny of votes Undue election Anson established that some voters had wrongly been registered and had voted; when their votes were struck off he had a majority of eight. A counter-charge of bribery was withdrawn. 1 O'M & H 174; HCP 1869 120-I p. 217-219
16 June 1869 Nottingham Lawrence Torr and others Charles Seely Bribery, etc.; Rioting Duly elected Evidence of bribery did not establish it was done by the candidate's agents. A single voter was prevented by fear from voting but there was no general riot. 1 O'M & H 245; HCP 1872 268 p. 131-133
22 November 1869 Waterford City John Slattery and Daniel Carrigan Sir Henry Winston Barron, Bt. Bribery, etc. Void election Sir Henry had appointed his cousin, Marcus Barron, as his agent; Marcus Barron had arranged for extensive bribery to be carried out by Nathaniel Allen. 2 O'M & H 1; HCP 1872 268 p. 145-150
31 December 1869 Longford Thomas Broderick, Michael Lynch, Alexander Birne, and Edward Duggan Hon. Reginald Greville-Nugent Failure to give proper notice of election; Bribery, etc. Void election The Judge thought the sheriff was entitled to proclaim the election on 27 December after receiving the writ on 24 December. There was "unusual violence" around the election but no proof of intimidation. There was a systematic system of corrupt treating. 2 O'M & H 6; HCP 1872 268 p. 86-103
3 February 1870 Mallow Major Lawrence Edward Knox Henry Munster Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Void election 22 out of the 47 publicans in the borough were given orders to distribute free food and drink, and all voted for Munster despite some having previously opposed him. Knox was unable to strike off enough votes to prove himself the winner. 2 O'M & H 18; HCP 1872 268 p. 103-113
25 February 1870 Waterford City Thomas Condon and Michael O'Shea Ralph Bernal Osborne Bribery, etc. Duly elected Claims of undue influence by landlords, employers and spiritual intimidation were abandoned at trial. Claims of corrupt offers were not believed. 2 O'M & H 24; HCP 1872 268 p. 151-157
28 February 1870 Tipperary County Patrick Mackay and Thomas Patrick O'Connor Denis Caulfield Heron Bribery, etc.; interruption of telegrams Duly elected All charges but those relating to bribery and undue influence were abandoned at trial. There was insufficient evidence of bribery and the Roman Catholic clergy were exercising legitimate influence. 2 O'M & H 31; HCP 1872 268 p. 140-145
29 March 1870 Bristol James Brett, Frederick Meers, Henry Matthews, and George Palmer Elisha Smith Robinson Bribery, etc. Void election Prior to the election, a test ballot had taken place between three candidates of Robinson's party to determine which of them should be nominated. It was proved that Robinson organised corrupt treating at this election. A special case determined that treating at the test ballot would void the subsequent election. 2 O'M & H 27; HCP 1872 268 p. 8-19
13 July 1870 Norwich Gardener Christopher Stevens Jacob Henry Tillett Bribery, etc.; employment of corrupt agent; candidate previously guilty of bribery Void election Tillett had run in the 1868 election with Sir William Russell, who employed Orlando Dennis Ray as agent; Ray had been reported guilty of bribery. 2 O'M & H 38; HCP 1872 268 p. 113-130
19 July 1870 Brecon (No. 1) Overton and Mainwaring James Price William Gwynne Holford Bribery, etc. Duly elected The petitioners attempted to withdraw the petition before trial but were not in time. No evidence was offered. 2 O'M & H 33; HCP 1872 268 p. 4-6
19 July 1870 Brecon (No. 2) Richard Watkins and J. Watkins James Price William Gwynne Holford Bribery, etc. Duly elected After the previous petition had been dismissed, Holford's mother (with his knowledge) organised a party to celebrate his election win. The attendees included some who had voted against him and the party had not been thought of until after the election. 2 O'M & H 43; HCP 1872 268 p. 6-8
21 September 1870 Shrewsbury Buttress, Cock, Davies and Whitwell Douglas Straight Bribery, etc. Duly elected The pub owned by a Mr Townsend was used by Straight for the election, and he gave suppers to supporters of Straight, but it was not directed at encouraging voting. 2 O'M & H 36; HCP 1872 268 p. 133-140
1 April 1872 Galway County Hon. William De La Poer Trench John Philip Nolan Treating; undue influence; candidate disqualified as previously guilty of corrupt practices Undue election The Archbishop, suffragan bishop and majority of parish priests in the Roman Catholic Church of the county were held to have used all influence to overthrow all free will. A special case decided that notices put up by Trench alerting voters to Nolan's previous involvement in treating were sufficient to inform voters that he was disqualified. 2 O'M & H 46; HCP 1872 268 p. 20-85
8 May 1873 Gloucester Sir William Vernon Guise, Bt., William Philip Price, William Charles Lucy, Herry Allen, and John Pleydell Wilton William Killigrew Wait Bribery, etc.; personation Duly elected Claims of bribery and treating were abandoned. Two men of the same name were registered in one street, only one of them qualified; the right one had voted. The under-age son of a voter had been persuaded to vote in his father's name but the canvasser was unaware he was not the right man. 2 O'M & H 59; HCP 1874 374 p. 75-79
14 October 1873 Taunton John Marshall and Walter Chorley Brannan Henry James Bribery, etc. Duly elected Bribery by a man named Rollings was shown, but it could not be established that Rollings was an agent of James. 2 O'M & H 66; HCP 1874 374 p. 150-154
1874 Athlone Edward Sheil John James Ennis and Walter Nugent Returning officer wrongly rejected votes Undue election The original result had given both candidates 140 votes. 21 clear votes for Sheil and 9 for Ennis placed the cross in the wrong place on the ballot paper. The court held that they should have been counted and not rejected, giving Sheil a majority. Special case. No order as to costs. 2 O'M & H 186; HCP 1874 374 p. 3-6
1874 Barnstaple John Fleming and John Holt Thomas Cave and Samuel Danks Waddy Bribery, etc. Duly elected The Judges did not believe witnesses who accused the candidates of bribery. Evidence of intimidation by landlords was contradicted. 2 O'M & H 105; HCP 1874 374 p. 6-12
1874 Bolton James Ormrod, William Hargreaves, Thomas Lever Rushton, William Walter Cannon, Nathaniel Greenhalgh, Charles Henry Houldon, William Hesketh John Kynaston Cross Bribery, etc.; unlawful communication of names of voters Duly elected It was illegal for personation agents in polling stations to inform the candidate who had voted, but it did not upset the election. Giving railway passes to allow people to come in and vote was not bribery. 2 O'M & H 138; HCP 1874 374 p. 12-18
1874 Boston John Wingfield Malcolm William James Ingram and Thomas Parry Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votes Undue election 877 voters received gifts of coal from agents of Parry with intent to influence their votes; several voters at the Bull Inn were treated by Henry Cabourn Simonds. When votes of those who received coal were struck off, Malcolm had a majority. A special case established this approach to deciding the case was correct. 2 O'M & H 161; HCP 1874 374 p. 19-30; HCP 1875 342 p. 3-11
1874 Drogheda Morton and others Dr. William Hagerty O'Leary and Mr Daly Bribery, etc.; irregular procedure for voting and maintaining secrecy Duly elected Charges of corrupt practices were withdrawn. The poll opening was delayed by 45 minutes but no voter was prevented from voting. A special case found that, despite the voters' marked papers being visible to others within the polling station, no unauthorised person saw them. 2 O'M & H 201; HCP 1874 374 p. 31-50
1874 Dudley Benjamin Hingley, Edward Bowen, Josiah Robinson, and Thomas Foxall Henry Brinsley Sheridan Rioting Void election Void at common law because of rioting by both sides; the only reason there was more violence from Sheridan's side was that he had more riotous supporters. 2 O'M & H 115; HCP 1874 374 p. 50-51
1874 Durham City James and another John Henderson and Thomas Charles Thompson Bribery, etc. Void election Several voters had been bribed by John Heaton, John Newton and Charles Dawson who were agents of Henderson and Thompson; Heaton, Newton and Thomas Marshall were also guilty of corrupt treating. The candidates were unaware. 2 O'M & H 134; HCP 1874 374 p. 51-56
1874 Durham, Northern Burdon and others Isaac Lowthian Bell and Charles Mark Palmer Bribery, etc.; riot and intimidation Void election The charges of corruption by the agent were rebutted, but there was intimidation in many towns: it took the form of shopkeepers being told they would lose custom if they did not vote in line with their customers, opposition committee rooms being wrecked and houses attacked. 2 O'M & H 152; HCP 1874 374 p. 57-61
1874 Galway Borough Pierce Joyce, jun. Francis Hugh O'Donnell Bribery, etc.; employment of corrupt agent Void election A system of intimidation was organised by O'Donnell and mob violence used to intimidate voters. O'Donnell was assisted by some of the Catholic priests reported guilty of undue influence in the Galway County petition in 1872. 2 O'M & H 196; HCP 1874 374 p. 62-74
1874 Hackney William John Gill Sir Charles Reed, John Holms, and Henry Child Failure to hold a poll at some polling places Void election The returning officer had designated 19 polling places. In several of them ballot boxes and ballot papers were not available and no poll was taken; others opened late. At least 4,838 electors were unable to vote out of an electorate of 40,870. 2 O'M & H 77; HCP 1874 374 p. 79-83
1874 Haverfordwest Thomas Whicher Davies Lord Kensington and William Lewis Harding Refusal to accept nomination Void election The returning officer, Harding, refused to accept Davies as a candidate unless he gave a £40 deposit against the costs of a contested election (which at this point fell on candidates). Davies declined and was not accepted as a candidate, so Kensington was returned unopposed. The returning officer had no power to insist on a deposit. Special case. HCP 1874 374 p. 84-92
1874 Kidderminster James Youngjohns and Charles Thomas Albert Grant Bribery, etc. Void election Grant had been invited to contest the seat at the last minute. On the eve of poll he gave a speech promising "an entertainment" if he won, and after winning he made the same promise. A grand fête costing £1,480 was later held. This constituted corrupt treating. 2 O'M & H 170; HCP 1874 374 p. 92-99
1874 Launceston Herbert Charles Drinkwater James Henry Deakin Bribery, etc.; candidate disqualified through corrupt practice; Scrutiny of votes Void election Deakin, a landowner, had allowed his tenants to kill rabbits on his estate, and sell them; this was a form of bribery. Drinkwater had published a notice declaring his actions corrupt and asserting that Deakin was thereby disqualified. The judges agreed it was corrupt. A special case determined that the notice did not automatically nullify votes for Deakin. 2 O'M & H 129; HCP 1874 374 p. 99-118
1874 Mayo Sir George Clendining O'Donel George Ekins Browne, Thomas Tighe, and Joseph Pratt Refusal to accept nomination Void election The returning officer, Pratt, refused to accept O'Donel as a candidate despite his otherwise valid nomination, because he had not appointed an election agent. The returning officer had no right to do so and ought to have held a poll. Special case. 2 O'M & H 191; HCP 1874 374 p. 119-123
1874 Petersfield Henry John Dayrell Stowe Hon. Sydney Hylton Jolliffe Bribery, etc.; voting by ineligible people; Scrutiny of votes Duly elected A house was let to a voter years before on the promise of a vote in return; reminding him of the promise without a threat was not undue influence and the letting was too long ago to constitute bribery. A recriminatory case was abandoned. On a special case, Insufficient ineligible voters were found to upset Jolliffe's majority. 2 O'M & H 94; HCP 1874 374 p. 123-130
1874 Poole (No. 1) Charles Hurdle and Henry Stark Charles Waring Bribery, etc. Void election The agent received bills for drink and refreshment supplied during the election, which were paid. Beer had been ordered after the election by Waring's agents and given away free. Because neither was a spontaneous act, this was corrupt treating. 2 O'M & H 123; HCP 1874 374 p. 130-140
1874 Poole (No. 2) Hiram Young and John Rennison Bribery, etc.; payments after the election
1874 Renfrewshire Charles Edward Irvin and James Macgregor Colonel William Mure Recount Duly elected The recount increased Mure's majority from 88 to 91. 22 irregularly marked ballots were found, with clear intentions of 8 to vote for Mure and 14 for the runner-up Colonel Campbell. They made no difference to the result. 2 O'M & H 213; HCP 1874 374 p. 141
1874 Stroud Baynes and others Sebastian Stewart Dickinson and Walter John Stanton Bribery, etc. Void election An agent of the respondents, Smith, openly organised treating and entertainments as part of the campaign, probably in ignorance of the law. When this was proved the two MPs abandoned their defence save to establish that they had neither authorised it nor known about it. 2 O'M & H 107; HCP 1874 374 p. 142-143
1874 Wakefield William Hartley Lee and Isaac Briggs Edward Green Bribery, etc. Void election Green was vice-president of a society, many of whose members were his political supporters. Others who attended its meetings were bribed there by his supporters. 2 O'M & H 100; HCP 1874 374 p. 155-159
1874 Wigtown Burghs Andrew Haswell and Robert Jamieson Mark John Stewart Returning officer wrongly counted irregular votes Undue election Some ballot papers were discounted, others held good. A special case was referred to the Court of Session on 19 irregularly marked ballot papers. At the end it was found that Stewart was one vote behind Rt Hon George Young; Young had since been made a judge so the seat was vacant. 2 O'M & H 215; HCP 1874 374 p. 160-172
1874 Windsor Herbert and another Robert Richardson-Gardner Bribery, etc. Duly elected Richardson-Gardner had evicted tenants who voted against him in the 1868 election, but there was no proof this action influenced voters in 1874. Because it was reprehensible behaviour, no order as to costs. 2 O'M & H 88; HCP 1874 374 p. 174-180
18 May 1874 Stroud Marling and others John Edward Dorington Bribery, etc. Void election Dorington had been an unsuccessful candidate in the general election and his agents had sent large sums to voters living outside the town as travelling expenses, which were much more than a railway ticket would cost. 2 O'M & H 179; HCP 1874 374 p. 143-146
18 May 1874 Stroud Baynes and others Alfred John Stanton Bribery, etc. Duly elected Mills in the town had closed for polling day but workmen were paid for a day's work. This was a kindness and not bribery. 2 O'M & H 181; HCP 1874 374 p. 146-149
15 June 1874 Wigtown Burghs Augustus Smith Mark John Stewart Scrutiny of votes Duly elected The scrutiny reduced Stewart's majority from 8 votes to 2. 2 O'M & H 232; HCP 1874 374 p. 172-174
22 June 1874 Durham, Northern Thomas Graholm and Samuel Storey Sir George Elliot, Bt. Bribery, etc. Duly elected After "trifling" evidence of bribery, the petitioners applied to withdraw the petition. The Judge insisted on giving a full judgment. 3 O'M & H 1; HCP 1875 342 p. 12-14
22 June 1874 Durham, Northern Edward Pickering and William Williams Charles Mark Palmer Bribery, etc. Withdrawn As soon as the case was opened the petitioners applied to withdraw it; the Judge allowed them. 3 O'M & H 4; HCP 1875 342 p. 14-18
27 July 1874 Stroud Holloway Henry Robert Brand Bribery, etc., at this and previous elections Void election At least 13 bribed voters were found (two more were offered bribes) and five bribers were named. Brand's agent, on realising what he would have to disclose in court, had absconded. There was a £1,200 fund for 'decorations' which was partly used for bribery. 3 O'M & H 7; HCP 1875 342 p. 25-39
30 December 1874 St Ives Sir Francis Lycett Charles Tyringham Praed Bribery, etc. Void election After it was established that several pubs in St Ives and surrounding areas were opened to supply free drink in support of Praed, Praed's counsel conceded that the election must be void. 3 O'M & H 13; HCP 1875 342 p. 23-24
6 March 1875 Norwich Francis Ames Jacob Henry Tillett Bribery, etc.; employment of corrupt agents Void election After seven witnesses were called, counsel for Tillett declared that he believed that they and many other voters were bribed by being unjustifiably employed on the election. Tillett was unaware. 3 O'M & H 15; HCP 1875 342 p. 18-22
11 March 1875 Tipperary (No. 1) Matthew Villiers Sankey Morton John Mitchel (replaced after his death by Michael John Cahalan and Edward Galway) Candidate disqualified due to conviction for treason felony Undue election Before the petition was heard, Mitchel died. Cahalan failed in an application to the Court of Common Pleas to set the petition aside. Mitchel had been convicted of treason felony in 1848 and had escaped, and in 1853 was naturalised as a citizen of the United States of America at San Francisco, renouncing his allegiance to Britain. As voters knew of his history, their votes for him were thrown away and the runner-up, Moore, was duly elected. 3 O'M & H 19; HCP 1875 342 p. 39-52
11 March 1875 Tipperary (No. 2) Captain Stephen Moore James Scully and Michael John Cahalan Candidate disqualified as a naturalised alien and through treason felony
18 October 1875 Armagh City Dr James Ledlie Riggs, George Scott Riddell, and James Gardner Captain George de la Poer Beresford Bribery, etc. Duly elected 96 cases of bribery were alleged with 125 witnesses, but the Judge found that those for the defence always outweighed those for the petitioners. 3 O'M & H 50
17 December 1875 Horsham John Aldridge Robert Henry Hurst Bribery, etc. Void election Letters sent to voters living outside the town offered to pay their travelling expenses to vote, provided they promised their vote to Hurst. Travelling expenses were money and this was therefore bribery. 3 O'M & H 52
1880 Athlone Edward Sheil Sir John Ennis, Bt. Personation Duly elected Shiel had a majority of one and Ennis claimed two voters had voted instead of their identically named deceased fathers. The Judge found that the sons were the people on the register. Other personation cases were not proved. 3 O'M & H 57; HCP 1880 337 p. 3-10
1880 Bewdley William Francis Spencer and John Blundell Charles Harrison Bribery, etc. Void election An association formed to promote Harrison worked together with his election agent. Members of the association were involved in several acts of bribery including letting voters off debts if they promised their votes. 3 O'M & H 145; HCP 1880 322
1880 Boston (No. 1) Sydney Charles Buxton Thomas Garfit Bribery, etc. Void election After several witnesses had given unchallenged evidence of bribery, counsel for Garfit admitted that he could not defend the case. 3 O'M & H 150; HCP 1880 330
1880 Boston (No. 2) Charles Thomas Tunnard, William Barton, John Ashlin Thomas, Edward Clarke Porter, Charles Dobson, John William Rowland, William Charlton, John Thompson, William Smart, George Colley Bland, and Samuel Sherwin William James Ingram Bribery, etc. Void election Ingram's agent, believing his opponents would engage in bribery, employed 300-400 voters on polling day in various nominal roles. This was a disguised form of bribery. 3 O'M & H 151; HCP 1880 330
1880 Buteshire Archibald McKay, Richard Ferguson, John Duncan, Alexander Brown, and Alexander McLean Thomas Russell Bribery, etc.; Candidate disqualified due to Government contract Void election Russell accepted that he was indeed disqualified under the House of Commons Disqualification Act of 1782 (22 Geo. III c. 45); the bribery allegations were abandoned and no trial was held. See HCP 1883 325 p. 6
1880 Canterbury Henry Munro-Butler-Johnstone Hon. Alfred Erskine Gathorne-Hardy and Col. Robert Peter Laurie Bribery, etc. Void election After several witnesses had given evidence of direct bribery by people acting for Hardy and Laurie, counsel for the respondents told the court that he had to advise his clients they did not have an answer to the charges. The candidates were unaware. 3 O'M & H 103; HCP 1880 263
1880 Carrickfergus Marriott Robert Dalway Thomas Greer Bribery, etc.; personation; scrutiny of votes Duly elected The scrutiny was abandoned. Greer's charitable gifts were genuinely charitable and not an indirect attempt at corrupting voters. Providing cars to help voters was illegal but was not done corruptly. No proof of personation was found. 3 O'M & H 90; HCP 1880 337 p. 13-32
1880 Cheltenham Pakenham and others Baron Charles Conrad Adolphus du Bois de Ferrieres Bribery, etc.; disqualified as an alien Duly elected Coal and bread tickets were distributed by a man called Solomon who was possibly an agent of de Ferrieres, but were bought by a subscription fund. De Ferrieres had been naturalised by a Private Act of Parliament which made him eligible to take a seat in Parliament. 3 O'M & H 86; HCP 1880 337 p. 33-34
1880 Chester Thomas Heywood, William Dodd, William Jones and William Davies Rt Hon John George Dodson and Hon. Beilby Lawley Bribery, etc. Void election When the candidates began their campaign, they found a political association was very well organised in the city, and they could not run their campaign without dealing with it. More than 30 witnesses established that the association engaged in bribery. 3 O'M & H 148; HCP 1880 301
1880 Down Blakely McCartney Viscount Castlereagh Undue influence; scrutiny of votes Duly elected Carriages had been hired to take voters to the poll, which was illegal, but the votes of the cabmen were not nullified in consequence. No order as to costs. 3 O'M & H 115; HCP 1880 260
1880 Dungannon Robert Newton and Armytage Lennox Nicholson Thomas Alexander Dickson Bribery, etc. Void election Dickson's agent had offered an ex-employee of his £10 not to vote for his opponent. Two other cases of alleged bribery were not proved. 3 O'M & H 101; HCP 1880 337 p. 37-44
1880 Evesham Edward Charles Rudge and Joseph Masters Daniel Rowlinson Ratcliff Bribery, etc. Void election Ratcliffe had made many charitable gifts nationwide, including at Evesham. His agent, Ballinger, had made sure that anything given in Evesham was conditional on the recipient promising their vote. 3 O'M & H 94; HCP 1880 228
1880 Gloucester Edmund Digby Worsley, James Franklin, and George Twyford Thomas Robinson and Charles James Monk Bribery, etc. Void election
(Robinson only)
Robinson gave notice before the trial that he would not defend the petition. The petitioners presented evidence of direct bribery by Robinson's agent but offered no evidence against Monk. The Judges made a special report that the withdrawal of the petition against Monk appeared to be a corrupt agreement to cover up his involvement in bribery. 3 O'M & H 72; HCP 1880 229
1880 Gravesend Sir Francis Truscott Thomas Bevan Bribery, etc. Void election Bevan was an employer of 1,000 in the town, of which 180 were voters and many others were relations of voters. On election day the employees clocked in as usual, were given rosettes in Bevan's colours, and all voted in a group, then had a paid holiday. This constituted bribery. 3 O'M & H 81; HCP 1880 337 p. 47-49
1880 Harwich Col. George Tomline Sir Henry Whatley Tyler Bribery, etc. Duly elected Tyler had given firm instructions that his canvass was to be run by Francis Hales; he had no connection to an unofficial canvass and was not responsible for their corrupt acts. A recriminatory case established that Tomline's agents had bribed voters. 3 O'M & H 61; HCP 1880 227
1880 Knaresborough Basil Thomas Wood and Thomas Slingsby Sir Henry Meysey Meysey-Thompson, Bt. Bribery, etc. Void election After evidence of extensive treating had been given, counsel for Meysey-Thompson conceded that he could not deny that an admitted agent was responsible. 3 O'M & H 141; HCP 1880 337 p. 53-55
1880 Lichfield Sir John Swinburne, Bt. Colonel Richard Dyott Bribery, etc. Void election Agents of Dyott's, stationed in one polling station on election day, continued to solicit votes and kept such a close eye on voters as to intimidate them. 3 O'M & H 136; HCP 1880 278
1880 Louth George Harley Kirk Philip Callan Bribery, etc. Duly elected Trivial amounts of food and drink were given as gifts during the election; they could not have influenced votes. Others accused of corrupt practices were clearly not agents of Callan. 3 O'M & H 161; HCP 1880 300
1880 Macclesfield Isaac Day, Charles Shaw, James Gayes, and Edward Fairhurst William Coare Brocklehurst and David Chadwick Bribery, etc. Void election An extensive system of bribery and treating by agent was proved. 3 O'M & H 100; HCP 1880 262
1880 Plymouth Isaac Latimer and Francis Barratt Sir Edward Bates, Bt. Bribery, etc. Void election Bates had sent an agent, Stibbs, to Penzance to find Plymouth voters and bring them back; one fisherman had insisted on having his travelling expenses and paying for a substitute to do his fishing during his absence, which was paid. This constituted bribery. 3 O'M & H 107; HCP 1880 337 p. 63-68
1880 Salisbury Rigden and others John Passmore Edwards and William Henry Grenfell Bribery, etc. Duly elected Witnesses accusing the two MPs of personal bribery were unconvincing and that part of the case was withdrawn. A well-known local resident who helped introduce Edwards and Grenfell to local people had engaged in bribery but was not their agent. 3 O'M & H 130; HCP 1880 337 p. 75-77
1880 Tewkesbury Collins and others William Edwin Price Bribery, etc. Void election Ebenezer Lugg was established as having given money to, and forgiven the debts of, a shoemaker and elector called Samuel Jones; he also gave a new pair of boots to another voter. The court was satisfied that Lugg was an agent of Price. 3 O'M & H 97; HCP 1880 337 p. 79-81
1880 Thirsk Samuel Bradley Wilcock, Robert Skilbeck, Thomas Humphrey, and David Meek Colonel Hon. Lewis Payn Dawnay Bribery, etc. Duly elected The petitioners brought evidence of corrupt dealings by a man called Wright but the judge found all the allegations had failed; it seemed that Wright had no connection to Dawnay. 3 O'M & H 113; HCP 1880 337 p. 83
1880 Wallingford Edward Wells Walter Wren Bribery, etc. Void election Many acts of bribery by a single person were uncovered. Wren's counsel accepted that he was clearly an agent and that Wren was responsible in law for his actions. 3 O'M & H 106; HCP 1880 337 p. 85
1880 Westbury Abraham Laverton Charles Nicholas Paul Phipps Bribery, etc. Duly elected Several acts of bribery were proved to have been committed by George and William Cornish. George Cornish had sought employment by one candidate, and when refused, supported his opponent; William was his brother. However each had acted independently of Phipps. 3 O'M & H 78; HCP 1880 337 p. 87-89
1880 Worcester George Farmsworth, Frederick Wadeley, Walter Baylis, Henry Davis and James Edmonds Thomas Rowley Hill and Æneas John McIntyre Bribery, etc.; failure to open and close poll on time Duly elected Evidence of bribery was unbelievable; witnesses failed to give evidence in court along the lines they had given to the petitioners. One polling station was rushed by a large group during the afternoon, which caused the presiding officer to close up briefly to restore order; this was justified. 3 O'M & H 184; HCP 1881 10 p. 27-34
1880 Worcestershire, Western Fildes and Darling Sir Edmund Lechmere, Bt. and Frederick Winn Knight Treating Duly elected The claims of treating were minor in the first place. Claims that a free round of beer were bought for people at a public meeting for Lechmere and Knight were disproved on the evidence. 3 O'M & H 135; HCP 1880 337 p. 93-96
10 May 1880 Oxford Thomas H. Green, Owen Grimbly, William Parish, George Rolleston, Henry S. Underhill, and George Young Alexander William Hall Bribery, etc. Void election Hall's campaign employed 744 'messengers' on election day, of whom 600 were voters. Their work was purely nominal and the employment was a cover for a bribe. 3 O'M & H 155; HCP 1880 337 p. 59-61
19 May 1880 Sandwich Sir Julian Goldsmid, Bt. Charles Henry Crompton-Roberts Bribery, etc. Void election Crompton-Roberts engaged a solicitor, Hughes, to run the election. Hughes hired a 'committee room' in each of 88 pubs in the constituency, for £5 each which was much more than the market rent; most of the rooms were never used. The Judges decided this was a hidden form of bribery. 3 O'M & H 158; HCP 1880 337 p. 69-73
20 May 1880 Wigtown Burghs Alexander Boyd and James O'Kane Mark John Stewart Bribery, etc. Void election After witnesses had given evidence of bribery, counsel for Stewart declared that he could not maintain his defence of the petition. The Judges accepted that Stewart had no personal involvement. 3 O'M & H 114; HCP 1880 337 p. 91
1 July 1880 Wallingford Robert William Hanbury Pandeli Ralli Bribery, etc. Duly elected Groups of agricultural workers were bribed to come to vote by a man named Green, but Green's connection to Ralli could not be substantiated. 3 O'M & H 191; HCP 1881 10 p. 23-26
9 July 1880 Evesham Frederick Dixon Dyke Hartland Augustus Frederick Lehmann Bribery, etc.; scrutiny of votes Undue election Extensive treating by agents of Lehmann was established; the Judges noted that Lehmann himself was never called as a witness. A recriminatory case against Hartland failed to prove corrupt practices on the part of his campaign. On a scrutiny, Lehmann's two vote majority was converted into a one-vote majority for Hartland. 3 O'M & H 192; HCP 1881 10 p. 5-22
21 July 1880 Berwick-upon-Tweed John McLaren David Milne Home Returning officer wrongly refused and rejected votes; scrutiny of votes Duly elected Some irregularly marked votes which had been rejected were held good. The scrutiny resulted in Home's majority increasing from two to three. 3 O'M & H 178; HCP 1881 10 p. 3-4
20 January 1881 Wigan James Spencer and Edward Prestt Francis Sharp Powell Bribery, etc. Void election Powell's agent worked closely with Thomas Scott, who was secretary of a local political Association. Scott was responsible for several acts of direct bribery. Food and drink provided on election day was more effective treating because the local miners were on strike and many families were starving. 4 O'M & H 1
21 November 1882 Salisbury Moore and others Coleridge Kennard Bribery, etc. Duly elected While Kennard employed 214 people on election day (including 78 voters), each of them could account for the fact that they were employed for genuine duties, and so the jobs were not a cover for bribery. 4 O'M & H 21

Election Petitions tried since 1883Edit

The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act 1883 substantially altered and strengthened the law in respect of election offences.

Election Constituency Petitioner(s) Respondent(s) Allegation Result Reason References
1885 Aylesbury Frederick Charsley Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild Bribery, etc. Duly elected 158 men employed in tree planting on an estate belonging to a cousin of Rothschild were allowed half a day's paid leave to go to vote, but the foreman was not an agent and was only allowing them reasonable time. Rothschild gave an annual school treat to up to 10,000 people in the area which was held shortly before the election, but it was not a political occasion. 4 O'M & H 59; HCP 1886 177 p. 3-8
1885 Barrow-in-Furness Henry William Schneider David Duncan Bribery, etc. Void election It was not illegal for Duncan to pay people to distribute leaflets, but his provision of refreshments to 441 campaign workers on polling day constituted a form of payment which was now illegal. A recriminatory case was withdrawn. 4 O'M & H 76; HCP 1886 177 p. 9-21
1885 Ipswich Packard and others Henry Wyndham West and Jesse Collings Bribery, etc. Void election West and Collings' agent hired a number of 'roughs' to keep order at their public meetings shortly before the polling day. Doing so was not illegal but the expenditure was illegal under s. 17 of the 1883 Act. 4 O'M & H 70; HCP 1886 177 p. 39-53
1885 Kennington John Crossman, George Garlick, John Charles Jowett, and John Sandes Robert Gent-Davis Illegal payments; illegal employment Duly elected Gent-Davis had paid for an electoral registration drive, and during the election had published a local newspaper to promote his views. While they were done to improve his chances, they did not count as election expenses. 4 O'M & H 93; HCP 1886 177 p. 55-58
1885 Norwich Henry Birkbeck and others Harry Bullard Bribery, etc.; election expenses not paid through agent Void election Costs of meetings held to invite Bullard to contest the election were not election expenses. A leaflet urging voters to persuade their friends to support Bullard did not make all the recipients his agent. Charges of bribery were not made out but several public houses engaged in treating. Posters were distributed in the city by a man called Corrick who was not the agent, and they cost £19 18s; this was illegal expenditure. 4 O'M & H 84; HCP 1886 177 p. 59-83
1885 St Andrews Burghs Sir Robert Anstruther, Bt. Stephen Williamson Recount with scrutiny Undue election The original result had been a tie. A voter named John Watson was found to have been personated; the personated vote went to Williamson while Watson's real vote went to Anstruther. Another voter had been registered twice and had cast both votes for Anstruther. Other objections to votes failed. As a result, Anstruther had a majority of one. 4 O'M & H 32; HCP 1886 177 p. 85-87
1885 Stepney Frederick Wootton Isaacson John Charles Durant Votes cast by voters who were corrupt, voting twice, personated, disqualified; Erroneous counting; Scrutiny of votes Duly elected A voter employed by Durant before his selection was held to be disqualified from voting; one whose children were employed was also disqualified. Compensating a voter for the loss of his hat at a public meeting was not illegal expenditure. One personated vote was struck and a tendered vote accepted. The judges disagreed in the recriminatory case on whether Isaacson was entitled to employ people to hand out handbills outside polling stations. The Queen's Bench Division of the High Court was asked to rule on whether people born in Hanover before 1837 were British subjects. At the conclusion of the scrutiny and recount, Durant had a majority of 10 votes. 4 O'M & H 34; HCP 1886 177 p. 89-99
1885 Thornbury Benjamin St John Ackers Edward Stafford Howard Bribery, etc.; Rioting and intimidation; counting ballot papers which were void Duly elected Organised bands came into the constituency and attacked Ackers' committee rooms as well as homes, but most electors in the affected areas voted anyway. A slight overpayment for hiring a committee room was not bribery. On a point of law reserved to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, it was decided that ballots with the official mark only on the back and not the front were valid. 4 O'M & H 65; HCP 1886 177 p. 23-37
1886 Belfast, West James Horner Haslett Thomas Sexton Bribery, etc.; Disqualified from election; Personation Duly elected Sexton had been returned unopposed for South Sligo on 5 July but nominations in Belfast had closed on 2 July. Witnesses failed to give any evidence of bribery. 13 cases of personation were proved in respect of people who had voted for Sexton, but they did not affect the result. 4 O'M & H 105; HCP 1887 90 p. 3-12
1886 Buckrose Christopher Sykes William Alexander McArthur Votes cast by voters who were corrupt, personated, disqualified; Erroneous counting; Scrutiny of votes Undue election Certain votes were struck off and others were held good. It was illegal to use a schoolmasters' home, provided it was part of the premises of a state school, as a committee room; as this was illegal, the votes of those in charge were struck off. A tendered ballot put in the ballot box was bad even though the voter had been personated. Payments made by a local political association which were not returned as election expenses were illegal and the secretary of the association's vote was struck. At the end of scrutiny a majority of 1 for McArthur had become 11 for Sykes.[1]: 424  4 O'M & H 110; HCP 1887 90 p. 15-17
1886 Londonderry City Justin McCarthy Charles Edward Lewis Bribery, etc.; Voting by minors; Erroneous counting Undue election Five non-resident freemen had voted; they were entitled to. One voter, Robert Neely, was proved to have been bribed by an agent of Lewis. As a result of the scrutiny, Lewis' majority of 3 was reversed and McCarthy had a majority of lawful votes. 4 O'M & H 96; HCP 1887 90 p. 13
1892 Clare, Eastern Joseph Richard Cox William Hoey Kearney Redmond Bribery, etc.; Intimidation; Returning Officer irregularities Duly elected It was not illegal for the Young Ireland Society to print 3,000 cards reading "Men of Clare, remember Parnell; vote for Redmond". The Returning Officer had held the poll too soon after nomination but it was an honest mistake and Cox had not objected at the time. Two presiding officers who had closed the poll for lunch did not invalidate the election. 195 votes which were not detached from the counterfoils were bad; they did not affect Redmond's majority. 4 O'M & H 162; Day p. 161-167; HCP 1893 25 p. 15-24
1892 Finsbury, Central Frederick Thomas Penton Dadabhai Naoroji Votes cast by voters who were disqualified, personated, employed by Naoroji, corrupt, voting twice Withdrawn Some votes were from aliens who had not been naturalised, and were struck. Others were struck because the voter was registered in two divisions of Finsbury. Personated votes was struck. People contracted to post bills or clean rooms by Naoroji were entitled to vote. At the end of the scrutiny Naoroji's majority increased from 3 to 5,[1]: 13  and the Judge allowed the petition to be withdrawn. 4 O'M & H 171
1892 Greenock Sir Thomas Sutherland John Bruce Recount Undue election As a result of the recount, a majority of 44 for Bruce was reversed to a majority of 55 for Sutherland.[1]: 510  Hansard 4ser vol 7 cols 187-8
1892 Hexham William Hudspeth and John Knox Lyal Nathaniel George Clayton Bribery, etc. Void election Clayton had given his agent, Isaac Baty, £326 for the local political association, including £35 for holding a picnic at Clayton's home. This constituted illegal treating. 4 O'M & H 143; Day p. 90-98; HCP 1893 25 p. 3-13
1892 Manchester, East Joseph Edward Crawfurd Munro Rt Hon Arthur James Balfour Bribery, etc.; illegal hiring Duly elected Claims of illegal hiring were malformed in the wording of the petition and had to be abandoned. There never was any evidence that workmen at Chester's Brewery had been given a paid holiday; Munro abandoned this part of the case. Claims by a man called Green that he agreed to participate in bribery were incredible. The evidence did not support charges of treating. 4 O'M & H 120; Day p. 153-155; HCP 1893 25 p. 101-104
1892 Meath, Northern Pierce Charles de Lacy O'Mahony Michael Davitt Intimidation; undue influence Void election The same factors were at work in North Meath as in South Meath, which was tried first. A pastoral letter written by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath was read from the altar in all churches in the diocese attacking Charles Stewart Parnell, and stating with no-one could remain a Catholic and support him. After the South Meath judgment the petition was not defended. 4 O'M & H 185; Day p. 141-147; HCP 1893 25 p. 39-46
1892 Meath, Southern James Joseph Dalton Patrick Fulham Bribery, etc.; Intimidation; undue influence Void election Charges of bribery and treating could not be proved. A pastoral letter written by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath was read from the altar in all churches in the diocese attacking Charles Parnell, and stating with no-one could remain a Catholic and support him. This constituted undue influence. 4 O'M & H 130; Day p. 132-140; HCP 1893 25 p. 25-37
1892 Montgomery Boroughs T. George, J. Pickup and J. Andrew Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones Bribery, etc. Duly elected A voter named Withers claimed to have been bribed by Pryce-Jones but he was not a reliable witness. Pryce-Jones' campaign was unlikely to have appointed Thomas Jones a member of their committee and instructed him to go about bribing voters, and he did not bribe. Evidence of treating did not establish a link to Pryce-Jones. 4 O'M & H 167; Day p. 148-152; HCP 1893 25 p. 47-60
1892 Pontefract John Shaw Harold James Reckitt Bribery, etc. Void election An agent of Reckitt's had corruptly paid travelling expenses of one voter, and had given him an additional payment after he had voted. A corrupt offer of payment had been made to another voter. 4 O'M & H 200; Day p. 125-131; HCP 1893 25-I p. 3-12
1892 Rochester Alfred Barry and Charles John Saxby Varrall Horatio David Davies Bribery, etc. Void election Payments by Davies to a constituency association were supposed to cover registration expenses, but no accounts were produced to prove it. The association held a conversazione with food and drink provided at nominal price to the attendees; the costs were not returned as election expenses. 4 O'M & H 156; Day p. 98-106; HCP 1893 25 p. 79-88
1892 Stepney William Rushmere and William Charles Steadman Frederick Wootton Isaacson Bribery, etc. Duly elected Some voters who were employed for pay and disqualified from voting did vote, but they were unaware; the agent had not told them, but had not procured their votes either. Banners stretched across streets endorsing Isaacson, paid for by Isaacson's agent, were illegal expenditure, but the agent's actions were inadvertent and so he was given relief. 4 O'M & H 178; Day p. 116-125; HCP 1893 25 p. 89-99
1892 Walsall Henry Hately, Thomas Moss and James Mason Frank James Bribery, etc. Void election 2,000 hat cards ordered by the local Licensed Victuallers' Association were paid for by James's agent out of the election account. This was illegal expenditure. 4 O'M & H 123; Day p. 106-115; HCP 1893 25 p. 61-68
1892 Worcester William Glaszard and Edwin Turner Hon. George Higginson Allsopp Bribery, etc. Duly elected The petitioners identified 147 cases of bribery by money, and 93 by drink, but the evidence brought forward was minimal. 4 O'M & H 153; Day p. 85-90; HCP 1893 25 p. 69-77
13 October 1892 Cirencester Harry Lawson Webster Lawson Colonel Thomas Chester-Master Recount with scrutiny Void election The original result had been a majority of 2 for Chester-Master. One voter had erroneously been recorded as voting; his tendered vote was added. Votes not marked with the official mark on the back were bad, but if the ink showed through from the front, they were good. Other votes were struck and others held good. At the end, the candidates were exactly equal. 4 O'M & H 194; Day p. 155-160; HCP 1893 25 p. 105-107
11 August 1893 Halifax Alfred Arnold William Rawson Shaw Recount Duly elected The recount resulted in Shaw obtaining the same 368 vote majority as in the original count.[1]: 116–7  4 O'M & H 203
1895 Elginshire and Nairnshire James Hood and Alexander Gillanders Hon. John Edward Gordon Bribery, etc. Duly elected Gordon's election expenses began only when he was selected, not when he began seeking selection. A paid polling agent lawfully appointed, who also canvassed on a voluntary basis, was not illegally employed. After these points the petitioners offered no more evidence. 5 O'M & H 1
1895 Haggerston William Randal Cremer John Lowles Bribery, etc.; excessive election expenses; Recount Duly elected Some election expenses had not been returned, but would not have taken Lowles over the legal limit. To mark his birthday Lowles distributed 500 cards entitling recipients to 6d. of food, but his name did not appear on them and the cards were distributed by a political opponent; the Judges disagreed on whether this was corrupt treating. They had to agree to make a finding of corruption. The recount increased Lowles' majority from 31 to 40. A recriminatory case was withdrawn. 5 O'M & H 68; HCP 1896 63 p. 23-35
1895 Lancaster Thomas Bradshaw and Alfred Wilkes Kaye Colonel William Henry Foster Bribery, etc.; inducing prohibited people to vote; election literature without imprint Duly elected Smoking concerts had been held by Foster's agent, at which free drinks were distributed; these concerts went on routinely outside election times, so were not corrupt. It was not illegal for a voter to have his tram fare to the poll paid for by a friend. The judges did not believe evidence of direct bribery. 5 O'M & H 39; HCP 1896 63 p. 3-14
1895 Lichfield Sir Charles Wolseley, Bt., Theophilus John Levett, John Alkin and John Shaw Henry Charles Fulford Bribery, etc.; Illegal employment; Incomplete return of election expenses Void election Fulford's donation to an association of miners was not bribery. Treating could not be proved. A sub-agent had voted, and as a result had not been paid; his inferred salary was not an election expense. Paid agents had canvassed, which was unlawful. A regular subsidy paid to a supportive newspaper ought to have been returned as an election expense. Some election meetings were not returned as they ought to have been. 5 O'M & H 27; HCP 1896 63 p. 15-22
1895 St George John Williams Benn Harry Hananel Marks Bribery, etc.; False statement of fact; Recount with scrutiny Duly elected Marks was president of a philanthropic society to help the poor of the constituency which distributed tickets for free coal, but distribution was not political and it was not corrupt. Marks' subscription of 5gs. to help costermongers fight a ban on placing stalls was legitimate. Free drinks at a smoking concert were paid by the Irish Unionist Alliance and not by Marks. A campaign statement that Benn had "a skeleton in his cupboard" was not made by an agent of Marks. A recriminatory case failed when it accused Benn of false statements of fact failed because the leaflet in question was published before the Act came into force; the case did establish that Benn's payment for linen banners was illegal. The recount increased Marks' majority from 4 to 11. 5 O'M & H 89
1895 Southampton (No. 2) Walter Crees Austen and John Rowland Tankerville Chamberlayne and Sir John Barrington Simeon, Bt. Bribery, etc. Void election
(Chamberlayne only)
A member of Chamberlayne and Simeon's committee paid the rail fare for a voter to come from Winchester; this was illegal but a very small amount, and he was given relief. Claims of attempted bribery at public meetings by Chamberlayne were not proved. Chamberlayne had led a procession through the town followed by brewery carts; the procession stopped at many local pubs where followers were given drink. This constituted corrupt treating; Simeon was unconnected with it. 5 O'M & H 17; HCP 1896 63 p. 37-44
1895 Sunderland Samuel Storey William Theodore Doxford False statements of fact Duly elected A speech by Doxford saying Storey had accused him of sacking his older workers, and a newspaper claim that Storey had endorsed a socialist programme, were withdrawn at the trial. The Sunderland Herald and Daily Post had republished an editorial as a leaflet, attacking Storey for paying low wages, but the editor of the newspaper was not an agent of Doxford. 5 O'M & H 53; HCP 1896 63 p. 45-50
13 January 1898 York Sir Christopher Furness Lord Charles William de la Poer Beresford Recount and scrutiny Withdrawn The recount resulted in Beresford's majority of 11 being eliminated and both candidates receiving the same number of votes, with several ballot papers reserved for a court decision. Furness was advised that he would probably get 4, while Beresford would get 11; his counsel therefore applied to withdraw the petition. 5 O'M & H 118
1900 Christchurch Hon. Thomas Allnutt Brassey Major Kenneth Robert Balfour Votes cast by ineligible voters; Recount with scrutiny Withdrawn After the recount increased Balfour's majority from 3 to 11, Brassey was advised that he did not have sufficient evidence to prove enough cases of ineligible voters to overturn the result. He was granted permission to withdraw the petition. 5 O'M & H 147
1900 Cockermouth John Armstrong, James Hardaker Brooksbank, Benjamin Brown, James Beck, William Cooper, and Barwise Henderson John Scurrah Randles Illegal practices by agent Duly elected A room in a pub had been used as a committee room, but it had previously been used in elections and had no connection to the bar. The election address did not have the printers' name, but the photograph of Randles on one side of it had the stamp of the company responsible, so the Judges gave relief. A tea meeting held by Randles' party association was organised independently of his campaign and did not form part of it. A speech critical of Randles' opponent Sir Wilfrid Lawson which was also published as a pamphlet was critical of Lawson's political conduct rather than his personal character, and so could not infringe the law. 5 O'M & H 155; HCP 1901 97
1900 Islington, West Francis Hastings Medhurst Thomas Lough and Charles Gasquet, Returning Officer Polling stations remained open after 8 PM Duly elected When it turned 8 PM (the time the poll should have closed), voters waiting within polling stations were allowed to vote. The Judges decided that voters who had been given a ballot paper before the close of poll ought to be allowed to fill it in and vote, but those waiting for ballot papers should not be supplied with them. Only 14 ballot papers were given out after 8 PM, which meant that Lough's majority of 19 was safe. 5 O'M & H 120; HCP 1902 43
1900 Maidstone Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis John Barker Bribery, etc. Void election After several witnesses had given evidence of direct bribery by Barker's agents, Barker's counsel announced that he could not contradict them; Barker himself was unaware of what had happened. There were about 25 proven cases where voters were given either 5s., 7s. 6d., or 10s., to support Barker. 5 O'M & H 149; HCP 1901 92
1900 Monmouth Boroughs Thomas Embrey and Christopher Sweeting Dr Frederick Rutherfoord Harris Payments not made through agent; False return of election expenses; Illegal expenditure; False statement of fact Void election Thomas Icke gave unchallenged evidence he had been engaged as a clerk, but had been paid in the name of his son; counsel for Harris accepted that this voided the election. The editor of the Western Daily Mail had successfully pressed Harris to advertise in the paper; the bill had been paid by Harris's private secretary (not an agent) but when it was realised that it was election spending the money was refunded and then paid by the agent. Harris's statements accusing his opponent Albert Spicer of living off the profits of cheap foreign labour and giving ammunition to the enemies of England were false statements of fact about Spicer's personal character. 5 O'M & H 166; HCP 1902 44
1900 Pembroke Boroughs Thomas Terrell General John Wimburn Laurie Recount and scrutiny Withdrawn The recount increased Laurie's majority from 12 to 17. A separate court judgment shortly before the election had ordered the removal of freeholders of Haverfordwest from the electoral register of this constituency, but the election had taken place using the old register; because it was still current, the 28 freeholders who cast votes were entitled to do so. At that point the petitioners applied to withdraw the petition and Laurie also applied to withdraw a counter-petition alleging corruption; the court allowed both applications. 5 O'M & H 135; HCP 1902 42
1906 Appleby Hon. Henry William Edmund Petty-Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry Leifchild Stratten Jones Recount and scrutiny Withdrawn The recount increased Jones's majority from 3 to 8; nine ballot papers were reserved for the opinion of the court. Kerry was advised that he would not secure enough to obtain a majority and successfully applied to withdraw the petition. 5 O'M & H 237
1906 Bodmin Lt-Col William Henry Vallack Tom and William Stuart Bruton Duff Hon. Thomas Charles Reginald Agar-Robartes Bribery, etc.; False return of election expenses Void election Evidence on bribery substantiated only one case which involved a shilling; the petitioners withdrew the charge, and also offered no evidence of illegal payments. Agar-Robartes had held a series of meetings from 1903 onwards to make himself known; the Judges disagreed about whether their costs were election expenses. Agar-Robartes had regularly gone to pubs around the constituency and bought everyone a round of drinks, sometimes with his election agent; this was corrupt treating. A garden party given by Agar-Robartes' parents had 4,000 attendees; Agar-Robartes' election agent used it to campaign for his election, so it too was corrupt treating. 5 O'M & H 225
1906 Great Yarmouth Martin White Arthur Fell Bribery, etc. Duly elected A man named Baker drove voters to the polls in a cart which had been lent to Fell for polling day. He gave each voter between two and five shillings. When one of Fell's campaign workers was told about it, he challenged Baker, who denied doing so; Baker was allowed to continue using the cart. The Judges disagreed on whether Baker was an agent of Fell for the purposes of election law; they needed to agree to avoid the election. An almanac distributed by Fell on Christmas Day was not returnable as an election expense. Meetings and smoking concerts organised by Fell's local association from 1904, at which free drink was distributed, were not election expenses and did not constitute corrupt treating. A party for the retiring MP for the seat openly advertised in local newspapers where some whisky was given was not corrupt treating. 5 O'M & H 176; HCP 1906 169
1906 Maidstone Sir Francis Evans, Bt. Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh Bribery, etc.; false statement of election expenses; exceeding maximum election expenses Duly elected A witness statement from a campaign worker claiming to have been paid £2 by Castlereagh's agent had been taken under pressure and the witness recanted. An elderly voter who had been brought by car to vote but missed the lift back was given his railway fare back home, but after the polls had closed; this did not constitute bribery. A "mad freak of [a] man" named Tyrer who had seized some of Castlereagh's leaflets and gone out waving them, calling for support for Castlereagh, and throwing money down from a balcony was not authorised by the campaign. Castlereagh was not adopted as a candidate until 27 December 1905 and his spending before then was not election expenses. 5 O'M & H 200
1906 Sheffield, Attercliffe Arnold Muir Wilson J. Batty Langley False statement of fact Duly elected Wilson, a solicitor and Sheffield City Councillor, had pressed the Attorney-General to prosecute fellow councillor Charles Hobson who had accepted a £100 bribe for persuading the council to buy a piece of land; Wilson had been the prosecuting counsel and Hobson had been imprisoned. Langley had issued a leaflet on polling day stating "Who hounded Charles Hobson to prison? NOT BATTY LANGLEY". The statement that Wilson had hounded Hobson was not a false statement of fact in the mind of Langley. Other statements in the leaflet were not about Wilson's personal character. 5 O'M & H 218
1906 Worcester Henry Devenish Harben and Richard Cadbury George Henry Williamson Bribery, etc. Void election After three days of evidence which established extensive bribery of voters, counsel for Williamson accepted that he could not contest the petition. Williamson was personally unaware of the bribery. 5 O'M & H 212; HCP 1906 198
January 1910 Denbigh Boroughs Allen Clement Edwards Hon. William George Arthur Ormsby-Gore Recount and scrutiny Withdrawn The recount increased Ormsby-Gore's majority from 8 to 10 votes. As a result, Edwards applied for, and was given, leave to withdraw the petition. 6 O'M & H 57
January 1910 Dorset, Eastern Lt-Col Walker Miller Lambert and Gerald Dennis Bond Captain Hon. Frederick Edward Guest Bribery, etc.; false declaration of election expenses Void election The Guest family under Viscount Wimborne was a major local landowner. A workman on the family estates was sacked in what the Judges suspected was a demonstration to other workers of the need for political loyalty. 400 allotment holders, who were being evicted by the estate which wanted building land, were allowed to stay after a campaign by a political supporter of Guest, but this action did not appear to be corrupt. Estate agents were outside polling booths watching voters; this was lawful. The Judge did not believe claims of direct bribery. A large number of cars were used to drive voters to the polls, including by Lady Wimborne; their cost was election expenses. Pamphlets defending the Guest family should have been counted for election expenses, which took the total over the maximum. 6 O'M & H 22; HCP 1910 158
January 1910 The Hartlepools Joseph Forster Wilson and John Roger Butterwick Sir Christopher Furness Bribery, etc. Void election Furness's son Marmaduke hired a special train to convey horses, carriages and grooms to the borough where they were used to transport voters to the polls; this expenditure was not illegal. Clerks working for Furness's firm were allowed to help on election day, a Saturday, but the work was voluntary and therefore their salary was not election expenses. £5 of postage stamps was not returned as election expenses, which took the amount over the maximum, but the Judges gave relief. Furness's agent had however, unknown to the candidate, hired a band of miners who went about the streets intimidating voters. The election was void for undue influence. 6 O'M & H 1
January 1910 Kerry, Eastern John Murphy and Daniel Collins Eugene O'Sullivan Violation of secrecy of the ballot; Personation; Undue influence; Employment of prohibited persons Void election Claims that O'Sullivan voted twice were disproved by the presiding officer at the polling station; nor had he illegally helped an illiterate voter to mark his ballot paper. There may have been personated votes cast, but O'Sullivan's campaign was not involved. Speeches by O'Sullivan had not threatened violence against his opponents. A crowd led by an agent of O'Sullivan's had threatened a group of Murphy's supporters, preventing them from voting; other voters were intimidated against going to the polls. O'Sullivan may have kicked opposing voters and fired pistol shots. The election was void for undue influence. 6 O'M & H 58
January 1910 North Lonsdale Joseph Bliss George Bahr Haddock Recount; Ballot papers erroneously counted or rejected Duly elected The recount increased Haddock's majority from 69 to 169. Bliss then asked for the petition to be taken as a special case, which was allowed, but no new issues were raised. 6 O'M & H 97
December 1910 Cheltenham Edward Powell Smythies and John Richard Baker Claridge Richard Mathias False declaration of election expenses; illegal employment; illegal hiring Void election At the end of the petitioners' case, counsel for Mathias accepted that at an early stage it had been proved that his campaign had exceeded the maximum of election expenses, and had submitted a false declaration to hide it. The campaign overspent on vehicles to carry voters to the polls. Mathias was personally unaware. 6 O'M & H 194
December 1910 Chippenham Bryn Hozier Freeman George Terrell Recount Withdrawn The recount reduced Terrell's majority from 26 to 24, with 21 further ballot papers which had been rejected. As they could not overturn Terrell's majority, Freeman applied for and was given permission to withdraw the petition. Heard as a special case by request of the parties. 6 O'M & H 99
December 1910 Cork, Eastern Timothy Glavin and Thomas Coady Captain Anthony John Charles Donelan Intimidation; Bribery, etc.; personation; illegal payments; false declaration of election expenses Void election Isolated acts of burning effigies of opponents and exhibiting coffins did not prove general intimidation. An "eccentric and irresponsible person" had offered a bribe unconnected with Donelan. Personation was not proved. Donelan ought not to have supplied food to people attending his meetings but it was not corrupt. Donelan's campaign had paid for vehicles to convey voters to the polls and also hired special trains. The account book of the campaign spending was said to have been routinely destroyed; the Judges found that it was deliberately destroyed to prevent illegal payments being proved; the submitted return must have been false. 6 O'M & H 318; HCP 1911 204
December 1910 Exeter Henry Edward Duke Richard Harold St. Maur Scrutiny of votes Undue election The original result and a recount both gave St. Maur a majority of 4 votes, with several papers left for the court to decide. A vote with "Up, Duke!" in addition to a cross in Duke's box was held bad because the voter might be identified. A voter who had moved into a house previously occupied by someone with the same surname, and voted in the name of the previous occupier, was entitled to do so because he was eligible to register. A voter who had voted twice in two different wards had one vote struck. A voter whose son was employed on election day was entitled to vote. Five people employed on St. Maur's campaign had voted and their votes were struck; a recriminatory case succeeded in striking off two votes from people employed by Duke's campaign and one whose son was employed. At the end of all objections, Duke had a majority of one vote. 6 O'M & H 228
December 1910 Gloucester Henry Finnis Blosse Lynch Henry Terrell Recount Withdrawn The recount left Terrell's majority of four votes unchanged, and counsel for Lynch was granted permission to withdraw the petition. 6 O'M & H 101
December 1910 Kingston upon Hull Central Marriott Morley, Charles Wray, and Benjamin Musgrave Sir Henry Seymour King Bribery, etc. Void election King had celebrated his 25th anniversary as MP for the constituency shortly before the election. To mark it, he had distributed coal to anyone receiving out-relief, and also sent sweets to all children in local schools. Although distribution was stopped immediately that the election was called, the distribution constituted corrupt treating. 6 O'M & H 372
December 1910 King's Lynn Harry Flanders, William Carter Watling, and Richard Senter Holcombe Ingleby Bribery, etc.; illegal hiring Duly elected Ingleby was Mayor of King's Lynn in 1909-10 and gave a large amount of hospitality in his year in office, which he funded. However he took the Mayoralty before becoming a candidate, and the entertaining was not done with a corrupt intention to influence voters. The Judges found that a voter who was given a lift to the polls was taken not in a hired car but a personal car, which was not illegal. 6 O'M & H 179
December 1910 Louth, Northern Daniel Fearon, James Hanlon, Thomas Hanratty, and Patrick Larkin Richard Hazleton Intimidation; violation of secrecy of ballot; bribery, etc.; personation; illegal payments; false statement of fact Void election Crowds did jeer voters known to oppose Hazleton, and some were assaulted, but not prevented from voting, so general intimidation was not proved. Only 12 ballot papers were exposed, and those accidentally. An unemployed voter was offered a job with the Dundalk Urban District Council by a councillor allied to Hazleton; this was bribery. Several voters were treated by police officers. Mobs under the control of agents of Hazleton threatened voters; this was undue influence. Campaign workers were illegally employed by the United Irish League rather than the agent. Two motor cars were apparently hired but there was no proof of the contract. A leaflet which stated that the family of Hazleton's opponent Timothy Michael Healy were all seeking government jobs was a false statement of fact. 6 O'M & H 103; HCP 1911 75
December 1910 Mile End Bertram Stuart Straus Hon. Harry Lawson Webster Lawson Recount Withdrawn The recount increased Lawson's majority from 2 to 6; counsel for Straus then applied for, and was given, permission to withdraw the petition. 6 O'M & H 100
December 1910 Nottingham, East George Goodall and Joseph Reid Captain James Archibald Morrison Bribery, etc. Duly elected A large number of witnesses gave statements claiming to have been given 5s. for their votes, but they were paid for making the statements, and almost all when called as witnesses in the court gave evidence that their statements were not true. A small number of election payments were not returned as election expenses but it was a trivial amount. Morrison was the head of a charity which distributed gifts, and he probably intended to influence the constituency generally, but they were not individual bribes. 6 O'M & H 292; HCP 1911 170
December 1910 St. Pancras, West John George Haller and William Lloyd-Taylor Felix Maximilian Schoenbrunn Cassel Recount Withdrawn The recount increased Cassel's majority from 8 to 9. Counsel for the petitioners were then given permission to withdraw the petition. 6 O'M & H 102
December 1910 West Bromwich Alfred Ernest William Hazel William Legge, Viscount Lewisham Scrutiny of votes Duly elected The initial result was a majority for Lewisham of 5; a recount increased it to 42. Several dubious ballot papers were held good. A voter said to have admitted he was employed by Lewisham's agent did not prove that he was, so his vote was good. The employment of a voter's 22-year-old son in the election did not invalidate his vote. A voter who was employed and who had cast a spoilt ballot did not mean that a good vote should be disallowed. People working for an advertising company contracted to post Lewisham's posters, and those paid as sandwich-board men, were not employed on the campaign and their votes were good. A voter paid for carrying a torch in a torchlight procession, and the organiser of the procession, had their votes struck. Other people who had worked on the campaign had their votes struck. At the end of the scrutiny Lewisham had a majority of 2.[1]: 205  6 O'M & H 256
December 1910 West Ham, North Edmond Johnson Boake and George Alfred Brabazon Charles Frederick Gurney Masterman False return of election expenses; exceeding maximum election expenses; illegal employment Void election Masterman's election agent admitted in evidence that he had suffered a breakdown during the election. The court refused to give Masterman relief for the excess spending, accepting it did not have the power. 6 O'M & H 392
1922 Berwick-upon-Tweed Robert Carr Bosanquet and Bertram Fitzherbert Widdrington Hilton Philipson False return of election expenses; exceeding limit on election expenses; illegal hiring; payment other than through election agent Void election Philipson's agent had ordered £164 15s. 1d. of printing work from George Martin, which resulted in him exceeding the maximum. In order to bring the return below, Martin agreed to reduce the amount on the invoice to £68 3s. 7d. The return also omitted £6 6s. 6d. on hire of motor cars, the salary of a woman organiser, and the hire of a room for election work. £4 for the hire of cars on election day was illegal hiring. Some expenses were paid through sub-agents, which was lawful; however there were payments made after the deadline. Philipson was unaware of the illegal practices. 7 O'M & H 1
1922 Derbyshire, North-Eastern Joseph Stanley Holmes Frank Lee and Harry Reginald Cleaver, Returning Officer Recount; erroneous counting of votes; mislaying votes Duly elected The recount reduced Lee's majority from 5 to 3, with 63 votes for Lee and 56 for Holmes challenged and 76 rejected. The petition was heard as a special case. Three votes (2 for Lee, 1 for Holmes) had been found in the counting hall after the result had been declared; they were held good. 45 of the challenged votes for Holmes were good; 9 were void for want of official mark and 2 for uncertainty. 57 of the challenged votes for Lee were good; 6 were void for want of official mark. One of the rejected votes was held good for Holmes. This gave Lee a majority of 15. There were two ballot papers unaccounted for, but they could not affect Lee's majority. Of the 69 votes rejected for want of official mark, 38 were for Lee and 31 for Holmes, so they did not affect his majority. The Times Law Reports, Vol. 39, p. 423
1923 Oxford Hugh Hall and James Herbert Morrell Frank Gray False declaration of election expenses; exceeding limit on election expenses; payment other than through election agent; illegal hiring Void election Gray's agent returned expenses in excess of the legal maximum, but sought relief on grounds of inadvertence; this application was ordered to stand over until the petition had been heard. The Judges found that the return was deliberately understated: an advertising bill of £91 2s. 0d. was returned as £72 17s. 7d.; printing costing £53 19s. 9d. was returned as £48 11s. 9d.; post cards costing £72 17s. 0d. were said to cost £40. The cost of distributing the post cards, £41 13s. 4d., was not returned when it ought to have been. A bill for printing from the Oxford Chronicle, originally £181 9s. 0d., was dishonestly reduced to £118 6s. 0d; a special edition of the paper costing £20 was also election expenses. The agent had deducted £4 from a bill for stationery in respect of items returned unused on which a refund was given; he was not entitled to do so. Various other items, including £2 for rent of committee rooms, and £15 7s. for two women and a youth working on the election, were added. Some payments were not made through the election agent. Paid distributors of election addresses were not illegal. Gray was exonerated of involvement. 7 O'M & H 49
1929 Plymouth, Drake Nicholas John Pethick Revington and Andrew Treeby Easterbrook James John Hamlyn Moses Bribery; illegal expenditure; illegal hiring; false return of election expenses; payment other than through election agent Duly elected Albert Ballard was a well known philanthropist who had opened the Ballard Institute boys' club in Plymouth. He promised a firework display and celebration if Moses won, while threatening to close the club if Moses lost. However, no voter gave evidence that they were influenced in their vote by his actions, and he was not acting as Moses' agent when he spoke to the boys, so it was not bribery. Moses had tried to stop Ballard distributing a circular in his support, so he was not responsible for it and it was rightly excluded from the return of election expenses. A taxi was hired to help take voters to the polls by a sub-agent, which was illegal, but the agent was unaware and the Judges granted relief to those involved as they had broken the law through inadvertence. The return was not strictly compliant with proper form but relief was given. 7 O'M & H 101
1955 Fermanagh and South Tyrone Lt-Col Robert George Grosvenor Philip Christopher Clarke Candidate disqualified due to conviction for treason felony Undue election Clarke had been convicted of three counts of treason felony as a participant in an armed raid on Omagh barracks, and on 15 December 1954 had been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. As such he was disqualified from election under the Forfeiture Act 1870. Grosvenor's agent had inserted adverts in the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News, the Impartial Reporter and Farmers' Journal and the Tyrone Constitution drawing attention to Clarke's position and likely disqualification; the Fermanagh Herald and the Dungannon Observer had also reported that Clarke's supporters were aware people serving prison sentences of over a year were disqualified. Similar statements had been broadcast on the BBC and RTÉ. Grosvenor had also distributed 30,121 leaflets headed "Notice of disqualification of candidate" to people known not to be his supporters, and displayed posters outside most polling stations. The Judges were satisfied that those voting for Clarke knew he was disqualified and therefore threw away their votes. The Table vol 24 p. 59-76
11 August 1955 Mid Ulster Charles Beattie Thomas James Mitchell Candidate disqualified due to conviction for treason felony Undue election Mitchell had been convicted of three counts of treason felony as a participant in an armed raid on Omagh barracks, and on 15 December 1954 had been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. As such he was disqualified from election under the Forfeiture Act 1870. He had previously been elected and disqualified by resolution of the House of Commons on 18 July 1955. The news of his disqualification had been widely reported in newspapers circulating in the constituency, in newspapers read by supporters of both Beattie and Mitchell, and had also been broadcast on the BBC and RTÉ. During the by-election campaign the Ulster Herald, which circulated among Mitchell's supporters, had again reported that Mitchell was in prison. Beattie's election address had asserted Mitchell's disqualification. The Judges were satisfied that those voting for Mitchell knew he was disqualified and therefore threw away their votes. The Table vol 24 p. 59-76
1959 Kensington, North Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, Bt. George Henry Roland Rogers and Arthur Newton Edward McHaffie, returning officer Voters not crossed off as voting; ballots improperly transported to the count; improper count arrangements; admission of improper persons to the count Duly elected Mosley had conducted a survey of those not marked as voting, and 111 said they had in fact voted. Only 10 were willing to be called as witnesses, and five then said they had not actually voted. Of the other five, their votes were good and there was no evidence they had taken advantage of their name not being crossed off, in order to vote more than once. There was no rule requiring police to accompany ballot boxes from polling stations to the count. Ivor Richard, a candidate in Kensington, South, together with a counting agent for that constituency, had wrongly been allowed into the count but they had not interfered with it, so it did not affect the result. 1960 (1) AELR 762
4 May 1961 Bristol, South-East Malcolm Archibald James St. Clair and John Malcolm Harris Hon. Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn Candidate disqualified as a Peer Undue election Benn had succeeded to the peerage as Viscount Stansgate on the death of his father on 17 November 1960; notwithstanding the fact that he had not applied for a writ of summons to the House of Lords, he was disqualified from the House of Commons. St. Clair had widely advertised in the press and displayed notices drawing attention to Benn's position and disqualification. The Judges were satisfied that those voting for Benn knew he was disqualified and therefore threw away their votes. 1961 (3) AELR 354; [1961] 3 WLR 577
1964 Kinross and West Perthshire Christopher Murray Grieve The Rt Hon. Sir Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home KT Expenses incurred without authority of election agent; False return of election expenses Duly elected The BBC and ITA had made television broadcasts in which Douglas-Home had appeared as a party leader, on which they incurred costs. Because the broadcasts were aimed at the whole of the country, they were not aimed at promoting the election of Douglas-Home in the constituency, so the cost of the broadcasts were not election expenses. Scots Law Times, 1965, p. 186
28 July 1983 Penrith and the Border Lt-Comm. Eric Wilfred Morgan DSC David John Maclean Illegal election expenses; false declaration of election expenses; false statement of fact; undue influence Duly elected No evidence could be found to support the claims of illegal spending on committee rooms; the return of election expenses was accurate. The omission of Morgan from a list of candidates published in The Daily Telegraph was unfortunate but only an irritation, and did not amount to a false statement of fact on the part of Maclean. Claims that Viscount Whitelaw exercised undue influence in supporting Maclean were "an enormous impertinence" which should never have been made. Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, 24 December 1983 p. 1
1992 Belfast, West Maura McCrory Dr. Joseph Gerard Hendron and Thomas Kelly Failure to return election expenses or pay election expenses within the time limit; exceeding maximum election expenses Duly elected Hendron's election agent, Thomas Kelly, was a novice who was the only volunteer for the job after previous agents had been attacked by thugs. The return of election expenses had not included £703.25 of printing and advertisements, £40 for minibus hire, and £88.12 for public address system hire. A discount given on advertising in the Irish News, and spending on election surveys, were not election expenses. Bills settled through the treasurer of the constituency council were still made through the election agent; however not all bills were settled within the time limit. Both Hendron and Kelly applied for relief on the grounds that the breaches were inadvertent; in the circumstances of the pressure on Kelly and his ignorance of the law, the court granted relief on all items. [1993] NI QBD 177
1997 Winchester Gerald Peter Malone Mark Oaten and Lindsay Garrett Fox, returning officer Failure to stamp ballot papers with the official mark; improper rejection of votes; personation; failure to count tendered ballots Void election Four voters cast tendered ballots after claiming to have been personated, but the personators could not be found and the allegation was not pursued. 56 ballot papers had not been stamped with the official mark; had they been held good, Oaten's majority of 2 would have been reversed and Malone would have had a majority of 2. A special case determined that the possibility that the failure to stamp the ballot papers resulted from errors by the returning officer's staff meant that the result could not be certain. The Times, 2 October 1997, p. 2
2001 Fermanagh and South Tyrone James Leslie Cooper Michelle Gildernew Failure to close poll on time; ballot papers issued and votes cast after close of the poll Duly elected That a polling station in Garrison, County Fermanagh did not close on time 2001 NI QB 36
2010 Fermanagh and South Tyrone Rodney Connor Michelle Gildernew, Douglas Bain (Chief Electoral Officer), and Martin Fox (Deputy Returning Officer) Errors in issuing ballot papers; ballot papers wrongly counted and rejected Duly elected Claims that ballot boxes contained more ballot papers than verified as having been issued, involving a total of 36 votes. 2010 NIQB 113
2010 Oldham East and Saddleworth Robert Elwyn James Watkins Philip James Woolas False statement of fact Void election Leaflets issued by Woolas made false claims about Watkins 2010 EWHC 2702 (QB); 2010 EWHC 3169 (Admin)
2015 Orkney and Shetland Timothy Denis Morrison, Euphemia Matheson, Fiona Morag Grahame, and Carolyn Ann Welling Alexander Morrison Carmichael False statement of fact Duly elected Claims regarding leak of a memorandum from the Scotland Office 2015 ECIH 71 Timothy Morrison and others v Alistair Carmichael MP and Alistair Buchan

Petitions withdrawn before trialEdit

In some cases a petition was presented and security for costs was given, but the petitioner applied to withdraw the petition before trial.

  • 1868: Athlone. John Stamforth v. John James Ennis.
  • 1868: Boston. Thomas Mason Jones v. John Wingfield Malcolm and Thomas Collins.
  • 1868: Bradford (No. 3). Samuel Storey and Thomas Garnett v. Rt. Hon. William Edward Forster.
  • 1868: Cambridge. Daniel Lloyd and John Brown v. Robert Richard Torrens and William Fowler.
  • 1868: Carlow Borough. Richard Boardman v. William Fagan.
  • 1868: Christchurch. Harcourt Pauncefoot Popham v. Edmund Haviland Burke.
  • 1868: Derbyshire, Northern (No. 1). William Longsdon and others v. Augustus Peter Arkwright.
  • 1868: Derbyshire, Northern (No. 2). John Broxup Coates and another v. Lord George Henry Cavendish.
  • 1868: Dublin City (No. 2). Hon. David Robert Plunket v. Jonathan Pim.
  • 1868: Dumfriesshire. George Gustavus Walker v. Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow.
  • 1868: Durham, Southern. John Cary Hendy and William Watson Brown v. Joseph W. Pease and Frederick Blackett Beaumont.
  • 1868: Enniskillen. George Kittson and Thomas Johnston v. John Henry, Viscount Crichton.
  • 1868: Gloucester. Francis Niblett and others v. William Philip Price and Charles James Monk.
  • 1868: Hampshire, Southern (No. 1). John Watkins Drew v. Lord Henry Scott.
  • 1868: Hampshire, Southern (No. 2). Charles Castleman and Arthur Frederick Naghton v. Rt. Hon. William Francis Cowper.
  • 1868: The Hartlepools. William Gray and others v. Ralph Ward Jackson.
  • 1868: Horsham (No. 1). Charles Spencer Scrace Dickins and another v. Robert Henry Hurst.
  • 1868: Kingston upon Hull. Joseph Walker Pease and others v. Charles Morgan Norwood and James Clay.
  • 1868: Pembroke. William Hughes v. Thomas Meyrick.
  • 1868: Preston. Joseph Toulmin and Richard Pemberton v. Edward Hermon and Sir Thomas George Fermor Hesketh, Bt.
  • 1868: Shrewsbury. Thomas Young and James Coch v. James Figgins.
  • 1868: Sligo County (No. 1). John Hannon and James Casey v. Sir Robert Gore Booth, Bt.
  • 1868: Sligo County (No. 2). Henry Griffith v. Denis Maurice O'Connor.
  • 1868: Stockport (No. 1). James Walton and William Jones v. John Benjamin Smith.
  • 1868: Stockport (No. 2). Ephraim Hallam and John Eskrigge v. William Tipping.
  • 1868: Taunton (No. 1). John Dyke and William Oaten v. Alexander Charles Barclay.
  • 1868: Taunton (No. 3). John Dyke and William Oaten v. Alexander Charles Barclay.
  • 1868: Thirsk. Frederic Bell and others v. Sir William Payne Gallwey, Bt.
  • 1868: Warwickhire, Southern. William Colley and others v. John Hardy.
  • 1868: Wick Burghs. Edmund Beatty Lockyer v. George Loch.
  • 1868: York (No. 1). T. H. Gladstone v. James Lowther.
  • 1868: York (No. 2). John Burrill v. Joshua Proctor Brown-Westhead.
  • 24 April 1869: Brecon. David Evans, David Williams, Rees Price and Edward Williams v. Edward Hyde Villiers, Lord Hyde.
  • 6 February 1872: Kerry. Thomas Duckett Maybury and Maurice Harman v. Rowland Ponsonby Blennerhassett.
  • 16 April 1873: Tyrone. John William Ellison Macartney v. Capt. Hon. Henry William Lowry Corry.
  • 1874: Ayr Burghs. Edward Henry John Craufurd v. Sir William James Montgomery Cuninghame, Bt.
  • 1874: Durham, Southern. Henry Edward Surtees, William Culley Stobart and George Anthony Leaton Blenkinsopp v. Joseph Whitwell Pease and Frederick Edward Blackett Beaumont.
  • 1874: Isle of Wight. Hon. A.E.M. Ashley v. A.B. Cochrane.
  • 1874: Kerry. Maurice James O'Connell, James Egan, John Harrison, and Maurice Walsh v. Henry Arthur Herbert and Rowland Ponsonby Blennerhassett.
  • 1874: Kidderminster. H.R. Willis and another v. Albert Grant.
  • 1874: Leitrim. Francis O'Beirne v. William Richard Ormsby Gore (The trial judge refused permission for the petition to be listed for trial).
  • 1874: Pembroke. G. White v. Edward James Reed.
  • 1874: Stockport. John Oldfield and James Kirk v. Charles Henry Hopwood and Frederick Pennington.
  • 26 May 1874: Poole. Sir I.B. Guest, Bt. v. Hon. A.M. Ashley.
  • 22 June 1874: Durham, Northern. Edward Pickering and William Williams v. Charles Mark Palmer.
  • 1880: Bandon. John Corcoran v. Percy B. Bernard.
  • 1880: Bury St Edmunds. W.H. Rushbrooke and another v. J.A. Hardcastle.
  • 1880: Cheshire, Western. J. Ledsham and another v. W.F.Tollemache and another.
  • 1880: Colchester. Thomas May, John Lay, Alfred Robert Staines, James Watson, William Moseley Tabrum and Frederick Abraham Cole v. William Willis.
  • 1880: Dunbartonshire. John William Burns v. Archibald Orr-Ewing.
  • 1880: Hereford. J.B. Preece and others v. J. Pulley and another.
  • 1880: Horsham. T.W. Cowan and others v. Sir H. Fletcher.
  • 1880: Leominster. S.W. Johnson and another v. J. Rankin.
  • 1880: Londonderry City. John Boyle and William Conaghan v. Charles Edward Lewis.
  • 1880: Londonderry County. James Forrest and Thomas Walker v. Rt. Hon. Hugh Law and Sir Thomas McClure, Bt.
  • 1880: Nottingham. P. Isaac and another v. C. Seely and another. Although the Judges passed on a letter reporting rumours that the Respondents had paid £10,000 to secure the withdrawal of the petition, they stated that they had no reason to believe it to be true.
  • 1880: Stroud. W. Smith v. W.J. Stenton and another.
  • 1880: Wicklow. William Wentworth FitzWilliam Dick v. James Carlisle McCoan and Howard Brooke.
  • 1880: Wilton. S.B. Wilson v. Hon. S. Herbert.
  • 1892: Halifax. Alfred Arnold v. William Rawson Shaw.
  • 1892: Lichfield. Sir John Swinburne, Bt. v. Major Darwin.
  • 1895: Durham. Arthur Ralph Douglas Elliot v. Matthew Fowler.
  • 1895: Edinburgh, South. Robert Burn and Joseph Train Gray v. Robert Cox.
  • 1895: Southampton (No. 1). Sir Francis Henry Evans v. Tankerville Chamberlayne and Sir John Stephen Barrington Simeon, Bt.
  • 1900: Wick Burghs. James Edward Harper and others v. Arthur Bignold. (The petitioner was substituted by Thomas Charles Hunter Hedderwick.)
  • 14 July 1988: Kensington. Phylip Andrew David Hobson v. John Dudley Fishburn. Ordered to be struck out on the motion of the respondent: the petitioner was aged 19 so he could not lodge a petition claiming to have been elected, as the Parliamentary Elections Act 1695 set the minimum age at 21. Hobson attempted to withdraw the petition and substitute a new one in which he would petition as an elector, but he was out of time to do so.[2]
  • 2015: Mid Bedfordshire. Timothy Scott Ireland v Nadine Vanessa Dorries. Ordered to be struck out on the motion of the respondent: the petition was not served on the respondent according to law as it was delivered to her constituency office rather than her home address.[3]
  • 6 June 2019: Peterborough. Michael Greene v. Lisa Forbes.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Craig, F.W.S. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918. Macmillan.
  2. ^ Shiranikha Herbert, "Courts constrained by election time-limits", The Guardian, 1 November 1988, p. 39.
  3. ^ Tabby Kinder, "Clifford Chance client Nadine Dorries MP bats off "harassment" election petition, The Lawyer, 30 July 2015.

Further readingEdit